Category Archives: Home

Pro Kadima Invasion

Well, the game that was meant to be played while shuffling through powdery sand slathered in Panama Jack sunscreen has hit our living room. Pro Kadima is a ping-pongy game played with large wooden paddles and a hard foam ball. … Continue reading

Posted in Contest, CRAZY kids, Family Activities, Home, Kids, Play, Random Fun | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pippi Longstocking and Praise Dancing

I saw him twirling out of the corner of my eye. On the table, in socks, arms raised like a praise dancer.  I opened my mouth to tell him to get off, but the words got stuck. Why not let … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Family, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

5 Easy Ways To Use Notes With Your Kids

I’ve told you before that I love paper in all forms. In fact, next month I’m looking forward to a blog makeover, and my name will change to Girl Meets Paper to reflect my love of writing–and because I use … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Family Activities, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

OWL MOON Winner!

My, My! What astute readers have I! Last week Friday I shared a fun family idea and opened a contest to those of you who could correctly identify the name of the audio book our family listened to. All entrants … Continue reading

Posted in Book Lists, Book Review, Contest, Discoveries, Education, Family, Family Activities, Family Friday, FREE BOOK, Giveaway!, Home, Kids, Kids in School, Literature/Books, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Things I Love!, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Family Friday: I Don’t Homeschool, BUT…

I don’t officially homeschool our kids. Sadly, my patience is usually gone after the PB & J hits the counter at lunchtime, and keeping the kids focused on anything longer than an hour generally requires some form of sugar or … Continue reading

Posted in Decor/Organizing, Discoveries, Education, Family, Family Activities, Family Friday, Home, Kids, Kids in School, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Marriage, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Anatomy 101 with Zac Brown

It’s been interesting to watch my oldest child grow up. He’s slowly interjected his fashion sensibilities, voiced desires for new hair styles, and independently changed the radio station away from my channels to those he enjoys. Seeing a unique personality … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Education, Growing Pains, Home, Illness, Kids, Kids in School, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Up on the Watershed

My head is cloudy. I’m realizing with sorrow and unwillingness that even the sweetest things in life evolve and change. Of course we’ve been heading toward this fork for some time now, however the prongs of decision continue to force … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Family Friday: Crayons and a CONTEST!

In the spirit of loving competition, my husband started “Super Fun Dad Nights” when our kids were little. On evenings I was out he’d plan something spectacular to do together, usually involving candy, balloons, and duct tape. It won the … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, Book Lists, Contest, crafts, Discoveries, Education, Family Activities, Family Friday, FREE BOOK, Giveaway!, Home, Kids, Kids in School, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Leaving Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I’ve never been a big “shopper”…if by shopper you’re picturing a classy, well-manicured Breakfast at Tiffany’s 30-something clicking through the mall with a bouquet of bags bursting from the nook in her elbow. I prefer flip-flops and I’m not all that … Continue reading

Posted in Discipline Issues, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Prayer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Family Friday: Math at Dinner

Do you remember memorizing your math facts in elementary school? I clearly recall my second grade teacher walking us up one-by-one to the front of the room to recite addition and subtraction facts. With breath suspended and heart pounding my … Continue reading

Posted in Discipline Issues, Education, Family, Family Friday, Home, Kids, Kids in School, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Counting the Cost at Lent

My school year has been transformative for several reasons, but the most notable has been joining BSF, Bible Study Fellowship. This international Bible study brings over 200,000 students together over 38 countries each week; it’s truly mind-boggling to think that … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, Discipline Issues, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Home, Matters of the Heart, Prayer, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Easy Recycling and Repurposing Craft

This past weekend my son was given a homework assignment to find an object that could be recycled or repurposed into something new and useful. [DISCLAIMER: by useful, we don’t mean turning a regular piece of paper into a paper … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, crafts, Discoveries, Education, Family, Home, Kids, Kids in School, Living Green, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Random Fun | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Building Trust in the Small Things

When the lights fall and I’m lying motionless in a smudge of darkness, my prayers become loose and frayed and worry sets in. While many contend that worrying is “normal,” I know that many more would suggest it reveals my … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Discipline Issues, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Family Friday: Book Nights

Pop some popcorn and get in your jammies for Book Night! My husband and I first considered taking story time beyond Officer Buckle and Gloria when one of his friends from work shared this simple idea: instead of “movie night” … Continue reading

Posted in Book Lists, Book Review, Education, Faith, Family, Family Friday, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Things I Love!, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Your Baby Doesn’t Come With Instructions

Do you find it rather unbelievable that we are asked to fill out nearly every detail of our existence to rent a movie from Blockbuster, that we are legally bound to take hunting and boating safety classes if we wish … Continue reading

Posted in Book Lists, Book Review, CRAZY kids, Discipline Issues, Faith, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

On Jobs and Polished Nails

I went to college at a time when I thought I had six job choices: nurse, lawyer, doctor, teacher, church-something-or-other, or the mysterious “business” person. It never occurred to me that there might be other fields outside the scope of my … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Decor/Organizing, Discoveries, Education, Family, Growing Pains, Home, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Hearing Isaiah in a Painted Sky

“Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, Faith, God, gratitude, Home, Matters of the Heart, Nature/Outdoors, Prayer, Seasons of Life, Things I Love! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Valentine’s Day Part 2: Hunting for Treasure

It’s probably the hibernating teacher within that brings me round to setting up riddles and scavenger hunts for my kids. Yes, after all these years of standing in slippers wiping butts and noses, there are moments when that alter-ego is … Continue reading

Posted in Contest, CRAZY kids, Education, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Gifts, God, Holidays, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Random Fun, Seasons of Life, Silly Lists, Things I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day Part 1: Spread Some Love

Don’t we all wish there was a fool-proof recipe or some sort of silicon mold that promised to shape our children into the caring, generous, love-filled humans we want them to be? Or perhaps some magic powder we could sprinkle … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, CRAZY kids, Decor/Organizing, Discipline Issues, Education, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Food, God, gratitude, Holidays, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Neighbors, Play, Random Fun, Recipe/Kitchen Success!, Seasons of Life, Things I Love! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Easy Meal Idea With a Side of Smiles

If you’ve been a long-time reader, you will know that my kitchen prowess is, well, a bit unpolished. That is to say, I should have auditioned for Anne Burrell’s Worst Cook in America. I’m sure I could put on quite … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Food, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Things I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Family Friday: Compassion Project

I don’t know about where you live, but the past few weeks have blasted West Michigan with painfully icy wind and record-breaking snowfall. I wish I could say that I’m loving it, but in truth, I’m counting the days until … Continue reading

Posted in Compassion, CRAZY kids, Education, Faith, Family, Family Friday, Following Jesus, Gifts, gratitude, Home, Kids, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Neighbors, Random Fun, Seasons of Life, Social Justice, Things I Love! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Peanuts in the Morning

Do you remember the sound of Charlie Brown‘s teacher on The Peanuts? She had that muffled “whaa-whaa-whaa” of an expertly muted trumpet combined with some sort of nasally resonance never before heard on earth–much less in a classroom. How Linus ever … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Discipline Issues, Family, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Rants, Seasons of Life, Silly Lists, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Take Care of Your ‘Neighbs With Some Simple Compassion

Today, one of our local news reporters delivered his thoughts on this record-breaking weather while stationed up to his thighs in snow on a fake deck. Nice touch, I thought. One leg was in a “normal” section of the snow … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, Book Review, Compassion, Contest, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, FREE BOOK, Friends, Gifts, Giveaway!, God, gratitude, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Prayer, Seasons of Life, Things I Love!, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

More Exciting Than A Blizzard? A FREE BOOK!

It seems that nothing has the power to transform meteorologists into giddy children like a rollicking storm. Weathermen and women posted outdoors in the bluster seem thrilled to be at the center of such epic developments, their stern admonitions to skedaddle … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Contest, Discoveries, Faith, Family, FREE BOOK, Gifts, Giveaway!, God, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Holidays, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Seasons of Life, Things I Love!, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Book Giveaway Week!

This past week while huffing through a morning deathmatch with our eliptical machine, my gaze fell on the nearby spines of several books have been given to me over the years to review. Having gotten them with the intention of … Continue reading

Posted in Book Review, Contest, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, FREE BOOK, Gifts, Giveaway!, God, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer, Things I Love!, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

What a Great Idea!

I love to share great ideas. If it’s something that can encourage or edify–I’m your blogger. [keep that in mind and send my your besties!] Recently my dear friend Lyndsey sent me a link to her friend’s design blog–you know–the … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, crafts, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer, Random Fun, Things I Love! | 2 Comments

Family Friday: Spiritual Formation

I’ve been thinking about posting this for awhile now, and thanks to the encouragement of a friend am finally getting around to it. This Friday I thought I’d share an idea I had for bringing Scripture into the kitchen–which we … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, crafts, CRAZY kids, Decor/Organizing, Discoveries, Faith, Family, Family Friday, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer, Recipe/Kitchen Success!, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Women Tell Me: Finding Freedom From The Secrets We Keep, by Anita Lustrea

“As a girl and young woman, I memorized hundreds of Scripture verses in vacation Bible school and in Sunday school.  I grew up memorizing the hymn book. I didn’t, however, grow up understanding much about God’s grace and freedom.” [pg. … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Discipline Issues, Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Food, Friends, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Holidays, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Music, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Prayer, Seasons of Life, Social Justice, Summer, Travel, Uncategorized, writing/work | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Family Friday: Engaging in the News

Stop rolling your eyes. If you’re honest, I’ll bet at least a handful of you are contemplating a click of the mouse right now, mumbling something like, “There’s nothing good in the news–I can’t even stand to turn on the … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Prayer | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Good, The Bad, and The [very] Ugly

Standard.  Bad and [very] ugly wrapped in bread crumbs.  And absolutely obliterated. Reaching for the Raisin Bran now…   In better news, THE GOOD: What I lack in front of the stove I’m hoping to make up for behind wrapping … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, crafts, Decor/Organizing, Family, Gifts, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

For Your Olfactorial Pleasure

Ok, I’m not really sure that’s a word, but I’m guessing you know what I mean. Smells!  Good ones! I discovered a wonderful new candle that I just have to rave about—and adding frosting and sprinkles to the news is … Continue reading

Posted in Art/Beautiful Things, Discoveries, Holidays, Home, Random Fun, Things I Love! | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Year’s Eve Traditions

Contrary to the throngs of Time-Square-pounding, diamond-clad, smoky-eyed, horn-blowing ladies waving their champagne flutes to the thumping beat of the Black Eyed Peas, I was at home this New Year’s Eve wearing hoops and yoga pants, sporting mascara-free lashes and … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Food, Friends, Gifts, gratitude, Holidays, Home, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Neighbors, Recipe/Kitchen Success!, Seasons of Life, Thngs I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Meet Rob and Kelly…

One thing I so appreciate about our family is that we try to be purposeful about planning special nights together where TV and telephones fall to the wayside, and imagination and teamwork grab the spotlight. They are nights when we … Continue reading

Posted in Contest, CRAZY kids, Education, Family, Holidays, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Things I Love! | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Beware: I’m 8 and I have a label-maker

After returning back to headquarters Saturday night with scads of candy, sweaty hair, and cavities at-the-ready, the kids dumped piles of loot on the dining room table and declared victory. Victory over vegetables, unprocessed food, and moderation in any form. … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Family, Holidays, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Random Fun, Things I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Slow Unraveling

This fall my kitchen windows have seen more than just leaves changing color outside; they have stood witness to exhausting and unwelcome changes happening within our walls, around our table, in our kitchen.  It’s taken me a more than a … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, CRAZY kids, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Home, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Rants, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Bittersweet, by Shauna Niequist

What a delight to have been offered the opportunity to review Shauna Niequist’s latest book, Bittersweet, released last month by Zondervan.  Stitched together with threads of the poetic and honest writing we devoured in Cold Tangerines, Shauna’s voice again rings … Continue reading

Posted in Contest, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, FREE BOOK, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Play, Seasons of Life, Things I Love! | 7 Comments

Should’a Would’a Could’a

Sure.  There are lots of reasons I should have stayed home today: 1.  A sink that appears to have vomited up fruit particles, dirty pans, and filmy glasses.  You’d think that with a dishwasher directly adjacent to the sink I … Continue reading

Posted in Decor/Organizing, Discoveries, Family, Home, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Rants, Summer, Uncategorized, Vacation | 3 Comments

The Lure of Summer

My blogging aspirations for the summer have, quite obviously, fallen flat, dying the pathetic death that comes with goals left unattended.  The weight of summer presses in on my heart and I am drawn, again and again, away from this … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Family, Food, Friends, God, gratitude, Home, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Random Fun, Silly Lists, Summer | 1 Comment

Balance Beams at Summer’s End

A Confession: Lately I feel as though I’ve been walking a balance beam–clumsily and epically unsuccessfully. Locked between walls of my own architecture and construction, I find myself scurrying from thing 1 to thing 2, trying to fit it all … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, CRAZY kids, Discipline Issues, Family, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Rants, Seasons of Life, Summer | 6 Comments

Stefanich Stepping Stones

Tonight is one of the many times I’ve sat in my home, buoyant and basking in a deep pool of gratitude.  My good friend Kamarah [Best Neighbor Ever] recently sent me an email sharing the journey of a wonderful woman … Continue reading

Posted in adoption, Education, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Home, Kids, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life, Things I Love!, Travel | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

A Lovely and Thankful Wreck

I’ve been a wreck lately. My emotions on have been arching between profound gratitude to God and utter disbelief and, on the far spectrum, sadness that our kids are growing up so fast.  It seems I’ve been waiting for years … Continue reading

Posted in Decor/Organizing, Faith, Gifts, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Found Art, by Leeana Tankersley

“Because such art is essentially redemptive, found art is also deeply spiritual, predating even urinal-man in its origins.  In God’s hands, spit and mud become sight.  Dust and rib become humanity.  Darkness and void become world.  Fishermen become followers.  Virgin … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Home, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Nature/Outdoors, Seasons of Life, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

[A Different Kind of] St. Patty Green

Contrary to most St. Patrick’s Day festivities I’ve been privy to, we’re steering away from shamrocks and ale and making a B-line for healthy greens this Wednesday.  Not because I’m a prude who doesn’t like cabbage or has nightmares about … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Food, Holidays, Home, Illness, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Recipe/Kitchen Success!, Thngs I Love! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

5 Things You Can’t Quit

Last week while furiously peeling potatoes, simultaneously trying not to gore myself with the peeler or drop a starchy, slippery mass down the garbage disposal, I suddenly had a bizarre sort of desperate thought:  “I will be grocery shopping for … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Decor/Organizing, Home, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Silly Lists, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Egg Cartons, Baby Chicks, and FREE Fun

My husband calls me a recycling maniac.  I prefer to consider myself a “wise recycler” or “earth-conscious mother.”  I’ll leave the title “maniac” to the kids, little angels though they are 😉 At any rate, I’ve been in the habit … Continue reading

Posted in crafts, Discoveries, Family, Holidays, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Random Fun, Thngs I Love! | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Hallmark Sends Its Very Best

I’ve already told you bits and pieces of my now-exposed [obsessive] affair with Hallmark Gold Crown Stores. It’s thorny territory for me to write about something so intimate and special, but at last I’m able to admit that sneaking away … Continue reading

Posted in crafts, Discoveries, Family, Gifts, Holidays, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Thngs I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Yoga With Kids is Soooo [NOT] Relaxing…

Yoga.  The word, even to non-practicers, seems to evoke a sense of calm and relaxation.  It conjures up images of super-fit Californians poured into black yoga pants, lean muscles taught and glistening on some Pacific cliff overlooking the gorgeous, sparkling … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Discoveries, Education, Family, Fitness, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Random Fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Keeping Christmas Alive

In truth, I can’t completely remember if I read about this craft or adapted it from several other ideas, but this year we actually got out the scissors and did it. We purposely saved our Christmas photo cards so that … Continue reading

Posted in crafts, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Holidays, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

This Little Prayer of Mine, by Anthony DeStefano

“Impress [these commands] on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  Deut. 6:7 This verse has a way of lacing up … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Thin Places: a memoir, by Mary DeMuth

“The Celts define a thin place as a place where heaven and the physical world collide, one of those serendipitous territories where eternity and the mundane meet.  Thin describes the membrane between the two worlds, like a piece of vellum, … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

WIN THIS BOOK!

Zondervan was gracious enough to provide me with a second copy of this book to pass along to my masses of spellbound and excited readers [cough]; to that end I am happy to launch a spiderweb contest to determine the … Continue reading

Posted in Contest, Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Food, Gifts, Giveaway!, God, gratitude, Home, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Random Fun | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Pure Pleasure, by Gary Thomas

Check back tomorrow to see how you can win a copy of this book, courtesy of Zondervan Publishers! Little did I know when I tore into the envelope that I was the lucky recipient of something I never knew I … Continue reading

Posted in Discipline Issues, Discoveries, Faith, Fitness, Following Jesus, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Thngs I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

All Hail Hallmark!

When the “rewards” coupon comes in the mail, I’m the sucker who can’t wait to race out the door to Betty’s–Hallmark, that is.  I love walking into the dreamy ambiance full of pretty bags and holiday decorations, and hearing the … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Family, Finances, Friends, Gifts, gratitude, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Random Fun, Thngs I Love!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Living with Prepositions

It seems this blog has become my own private confessional.  Be warned: you are all priests and I expect absolution at the end of this post. I regret to inform you, as I’ve regretted admitting to myself, that I’m living … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Decor/Organizing, Discipline Issues, Faith, Family, Fitness, Following Jesus, Friends, God, Growing Pains, Home, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Rants, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

An Apple At Dawn

It is before 5 am as I sit here with my apple. People who know me will realize that something is strangely amiss that I would be pulled from the warmth of the bed I love to descend to a … Continue reading

Posted in Discipline Issues, Faith, Fitness, Following Jesus, Food, Gifts, God, gratitude, Home, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Seasons of Life, Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

BNE: Best Neighbors Ever

I first crossed over the asphalt divide six years ago with a plate of monster cookies and a welcome note, hoping that the new people across the street would be, at the very least, pleasant.  What I never even considered … Continue reading

Posted in Faith, Family, Finances, Following Jesus, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Heartbreak, Home, Illness, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Neighbors, Social Justice | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Quote, Unquote

Tonight I walked my oldest son to his room to spend a little time with him before bed.  He treasures these moments–almost longs for them in the way that I long for chocolate desserts and the pleasure of new slippers.  … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Gifts, gratitude, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties | Tagged , , , , , | 7 Comments

From “Pure Pleasure”

This coming February I will be taking part in a blog tour for Gary Thomas’ latest book, the phenomenal Pure Pleasure.  When I was invited to do the review, the title intrigued me [subtitled: Why  Do Christians Feel So Bad About … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Following Jesus, Food, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Home, Literature/Books, Marriage, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Music, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Struggle Bus

One of the many lovely things about Christmas and the New Year is the way families and friends come together around the table for a meal.  The dimly lit dining room aglow with reflections of the Christmas tree and Percy … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Following Jesus, Friends, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Holidays, Home, Illness, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Simple Compassion

Yesterday my oldest child came through the door flushed and rambling about the latest bit of excitement in his 7 year-old life.  As he slowed down and afforded me the chance to listen, I surmised that his school was sponsoring … Continue reading

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After-Hours Shopping = JOY

Friends, I have to say:  If you’ve never ventured to the mall during the week of Christmas to enjoy Macy’s “open ’till 10” schedule, or Kohl’s “open ’till midnight” promise, take advantage of it! Sunday night I managed to peel … Continue reading

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Things I Don’t Understand Thursday: Cobwebs In The Christmas Tree?!

How can it be, Friends? The tree hasn’t even been up for a month, and apparently an army of spiders has covertly taken taken up residence in its branches.  These busy little web-builders must be decked in green camo for … Continue reading

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[We Are] Overlooked: final thoughts

Matthew 25:37-40 (The Message) “When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?? Then the King will say, … Continue reading

Posted in Discoveries, Faith, Family, Finances, Following Jesus, Friends, Gifts, God, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Holidays, Home, Illness, Kids, Literature/Books, Matters of the Heart, Social Justice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No School!

Ah, the childlike joy of having school canceled–what thrill can compare in the mind of a 6 or 7 year old? Yesterday our kids had an unexpected day off due to a power-outage in their elementary building, followed up [with … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Food, Gifts, Holidays, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Recipe/Kitchen Success!, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Quote, Unquote…Again

Yesterday my youngest had a couple of cute moments–have to record them since I’ve done a pathetic job with his baby book share them with you! 1.  Our little guy has an adorable lisp [s’s] and can’t quite seem to … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Family, Following Jesus, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Move Over Nate Berkus!!

DRUM ROLL, PLEASE!! I am proud to applaud the work of my husband and the strides we made on our poor, pathetic, ghetto bedroom of yore. Tonight I feel like I will be going to bed at some 4-star hotel!  … Continue reading

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It Must Be Raindrops…

I grew up listening to Oldies, and to this day I still enjoy a sugary doo-wop song or something that emerged from Motown at the height of its glory.   I love The Platters, The Fleetwoods, Martha & the Vandellas…pretty much … Continue reading

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Firstborn

I remember wrapping him in swaddling clothes and lying him in a crib.  The midnight feedings, his first steps, our rocking chair. I remember the joy and chaos of life with an infant.   The schedule changes, his tiny smile, our … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Matters of the Heart, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Soul Care & Simplicity

Today [November 18]  I listened to another perfectly-timed radio broadcast on Midday Connection [Moody Radio].  The guest speaker was Mindy Caliguire, an author and speaker from Chicago who was discussing soul care & simplicity. This got my attention.  As a … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, CRAZY kids, Decor/Organizing, Discoveries, Faith, Family, Following Jesus, Friends, God, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Literature/Books, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Crack-Up Chicken

It must be said:  I have the best husband ever. I know, you’re ready to fight and give me 10 reasons why your significant other is better, but no. Tonight my daughter was in “a mood.” Are you picking up … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Family, Food, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Marriage, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Small Moments

My oldest often comes home from school with catch phrases that describe what he’s learning.  Last year his teacher helped him work on “grabber-hooks and gotcha’s” to make the beginning and end of a story more interesting.  They illustrate, edit, … Continue reading

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“Amana” Bar Revolt

Every once in a while you have those special moments of realization as a mom.  Glimpses of glory.  Morning has broken, the sky is caught in the rapture of sunrise, and children sit singing happily over their Cheerios in a … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Discipline Issues, Family, Growing Pains, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Marriage, Motherhood/Mommy Duties | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Nothing to Say

Last spring I went to a writer’s conference in Chicago that was packed with all kinds of wonderful seminars, advice from published authors, and meetings with editors.  For me it was a fantastic learning experience and a handy excuse to … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, CRAZY kids, Family, Home, Illness, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sick House

Our two boys came home with some kind of bug this week, leading to a couple days home from school and confined to our sick house.   A visit to the doctor yielded a “deep chest cold” diagnosis, for which … Continue reading

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Two Joys

1.  I found these adorable earrings right after I wrote “Little Sparrows” and fell in love with them immediately.  Being a girl with short hair, earrings are an essential to getting dressed.  Without them, I feel totally boyish and naked.  … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Discipline Issues, Family, Food, Gifts, gratitude, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Motherhood/Mommy Duties | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Introducing: Kitchen Salvation!

This past week I went to Chicago for a concert and some GREAT FOOD with one of my best friends.  We were introduced to Roy’s: Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine last month by another mutual best friend, and to someone like myself … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Family, Food, Friends, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Random Fun | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tales of Kitchen Woes [take 61]

Our attempts at trying to eat healthier have basically translated into simply using less cheese and more grill.  I’m trying, really I am.  Trying to stick to proteins and vegetables, occasionally some bread, but making an effort at reducing creamy-ish, … Continue reading

Posted in CRAZY kids, Family, Food, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Motherhood/Mommy Duties | 2 Comments

Tales of Kitchen Woes [take 43]

For the love of all that is good and holy and remotely edible.  I swear to you that I can’t get a break with my attempts at preparing decent food–ever. A little back story: I am undergoing a grocery-related spending … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Family, Food, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Kitchen/Culinary Woes, Marriage, Motherhood/Mommy Duties | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Feelin’ Crafty…again

Hello, Again, dear readers.  If you’ve checked in with me or looked at my Facebook page, you know that I’m having issues with my computer, a’la no functioning keyboard.  I’ve found that this makes keeping up with my cyber life … Continue reading

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Four More Days

One of the great joys, and simultaneous “pinch-me’s” of my days, is a more fervent awareness of the slipping away.  Time slipping away.  Childhood…slipping.  Days, seasons…slipping. It sounds depressing, I know, but actually I feel joyful that God has given … Continue reading

Posted in Family, gratitude, Growing Pains, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Things I Don’t Understand Thursday: Christmas in SEPTEMBER?!

Poor Baby Jesus. “Dear 8 pound, six ounce newborn infant Baby Jesus.  Don’t even know a word yet.” It’s bad enough that our society has gone to epic proportions to exploit his birth after Thanksgiving, but NOW we have to … Continue reading

Posted in Decor/Organizing, Family, Holidays, Home, Nature/Outdoors, Rants, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

You’ve Got a Friend

Our youngest doesn’t see being 3 as a handicap, but truth be told, at his young age he has already experienced age discrimination. I know.  The Law Offices of Sam Bernstein are about to be put on speed dial, trust … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Friends, Heartbreak, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Neighbors, Play, Random Fun, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Daisy Chain

Last spring I was privileged to hear Mary DeMuth speak at a Christian Writer’s Conference.   In a room full of other brothers and sisters, alike in our love for the Lord yet quite possibly different in our perceptions of faith, … Continue reading

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Things I Don’t Understand Thursday: No-Shows

We’ve been trying to sell this sweet little kitten for a couple of weeks now.  I would’ve thought that some eager high-schooler would’ve snatched her up like a Dutchman crossing a penny in the street, but alas, no.  There have … Continue reading

Posted in Discipline Issues, Family, Finances, Heartbreak, Home, Rants, Uncategorized, Vehicles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Medieval War Games

Well, they did it again. Made a game out of wood and jumping and self-inflicted wounds. Little did the feudal lords of the middle ages know that their catapulting weaponry would be such a hit in the backyards of the … Continue reading

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Faces From The First Week of School

My friend lives with the mantra that “Life’s too short to have unflattering blackmail photos of yourself floating around.” I suppose she’s right. But when a 3 year old is taking the pictures, what’s a mom to do? The bus … Continue reading

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Come On Over!

Friends!  I’m excited to announce that I’ve been asked to do some blogging for West Michigan’s own kids’ TV show, Come On Over! Supported by the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum, this show has already won numerous Michigan Emmy Awards and … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Family, Friends, Home, Kids, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Seasons of Life, Summer, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Moments With Love

Ever since I was little I’ve had a nudging–gentle, but there–prompting me to act of behalf of those with small voices.  Or no voices.  I remember vividly lying in bed one night when I was probably 11, drawing a picture … Continue reading

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Arctic Dog Mushing On Labor Day

Leave it up to the neighborhood kids, my own included, to create a game that is so wonderfully ridiculous I can’t help but document it for you.  Yesterday’s game had me laughing so hard the residual giggles followed me indoors … Continue reading

Posted in Family, Friends, Home, Kids, Nature/Outdoors, Neighbors, Play, Random Fun, Seasons of Life, Summer, Uncategorized, Vehicles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Teaching Kids About Friends

When I was in grade school I was teased mercilessly.  I remember, shortly after having moved to a new school in the 5th grade, crying in bed at night and having to confess to my mom that I just didn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Faith, Family, Friends, Home, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Play, Seasons of Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

My Quarterly Bonus

Being a stay-at-home mom is something that I love and worry about in equal measure.  I love it because I get to have a front-row seat to the lives of my children.  It’s messy, both in literal and figurative terms, … Continue reading

Posted in Chores/Duties/Jobs, Faith, Family, Home, Kids, Marriage, Motherhood/Mommy Duties, Seasons of Life | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Treasures In Jars of…Ragu

Yesterday was grocery shopping day.  The flour and water paste I was contemplating was a viable option, but in the interest of not stunting my childrens’ growth, I fled to the store for something with a bit more color.  And … Continue reading

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Dressers Are Over-Rated

You know you have a laundry problem when your kids ask for clean clothes… …and you go to your dining room table to find them.

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“Things I Don’t Understand” Thursdays: Kitchen Tornadoes

It seems like I spend most of my time in the kitchen.  You can’t relate…can you? Breakfast prep and cooking. Breakfast clean-up…but wait…the dishwasher needs unloading first. What?  A mid-morning snack?  Let me just get that for you…and your five … Continue reading

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[Homemade] Tents Make Good Neighbors

There was a moment today–one of those stop-you-in-your-tracks illuminations–that made me so grateful for the gifts in my life.  Not only do I have clean water, access to food and electricity, a smog-free blue sky above me, and the love … Continue reading

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Bedtime Prayers

It’s exciting and gratifying to share this post today.  I have been feeling badly that I don’t give enough attention here to the wonderful, curious, and edifying things our children do; after all, silliness and general chaos often make for … Continue reading

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“Things I Don’t Understand” Thursdays: husbands + laundry

Exhibit A: Let’s talk about this picture, shall we? If you will direct your attention to the images above you might think, “Yep, that figures…just go ahead and dump your clothes on the closet floor [mumble, mumble].” Or maybe you’re … Continue reading

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Stupid, Childish Pity-Party

Today I’m throwing myself a pity party.  I’m being a baby, and I know it.  I hate that about myself:  these feelings of entitlement, of ‘being deserving’ even when I have done nothing ‘deserving’ at all,… of wanting what I … Continue reading

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“Things I Don’t Understand” Thursdays: Indoor Baseball?!

Well, this really got my goat. After withstanding numerous accidents in the house ranging from family photos being knocked off the wall [that was dad modeling great behavior] to lamps crashing to the floor, we have banned indoor throwing/pitching/catching/baseball/homerun derby.  … Continue reading

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Lessons From Donuts and Garages

The fact that I’m still thinking about that donut after a whole week should tell you something: either I’m a sugar addict and revel in all my indulgences–or–I’m worried about my ‘haven’t had a waistline since baby #1’ and don’t … Continue reading

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The Closeness of Home

In recent days I’ve had reason to consider my story.  I’ve had reason to ponder the forks in the road and the winding path that led me to where I am today.  Who would have ever thought that a simple … Continue reading

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